The following article excerpt is taken from http://www.mnsun.com/articles/2008/11/06/news/cw06dementia.txt
New support group in Dakota County caters to those caring for loved ones with dementia
Kam Aggarwal hopes to provide something for the community that her family didn't have when it was needed.
Aggarwal has organized a support group for caregivers who have a loved one who is dealing with dementia. When she was younger and her grandfather was recovering from a stroke and was experiencing mild dementia, her family didn't have such a program to turn to.
"I think having a group like this would benefit everyone," she said. "I wish we would have had it when we needed it."
Through a partnership with the Burnsville Senior Center through School District 191 Community Education, Aggarwal will host a monthly support group at her recently opened residential care home in Eagan. The first session is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at Peaceful Minds Homes, 3808 Blackhawk Ridge Place. Future sessions will be at the same time the second Thursday of every month.
"It's going to be run for the people, by the people. It's a place where they can be themselves," said Aggarwal, a Rosemount resident.
The group is designed to give attendees both emotional and educational support. Speakers from relevant professional fields are set up for the first two sessions. The November session will feature Linda Debner, a registered nurse who will speak about "Taking Care of the Caregiver." Next month's speaker will give attendees advice on communicating with their loved ones' doctors on visits.
As the group evolves, Aggarwal hopes participants will decide where they want to go with the sessions.
"We're going to try to let the group dictate the needs," she said.
While the group hopes to provide resources specifically to those dealing with Alzheimer's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), Aggarwal said she hopes caregivers with loved ones with any form of dementia will attend.
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